Producer
Director
Jobst Knigge
Editor
Genre
Culture
Broadcaster
ZDFtheaterkanal / 3sat / ZDFdokukanal
Length
1 x 30'
Format
Digital Betacam
Year
2009
Theatrescapes
Theater Chemnitz

The Chemnitz Theatre has experienced many ups and downs in its history: destruction during the Second World War, its rise to become the Mecca of drama in the GDR, a fire in the mid-1970s and great successes in opera history after reunification. However, the five-section house has retained one thing to this day: it has always been regarded as an impressive hotbed of talent.

Chemnitz - Known in the GDR as an industrial centre, today the city quickly gets the stamp "ugly" and is easily forgotten in the shadow of its neighbours Leipzig and Dresden. It is a city for the second glance. It is then easy to notice that great talents began their careers here: in sport Michael Ballack, Katharina Witt or Lars Riedel, on stage Cornelia Schmaus, Michael Gwisdek, Andreas Schmidt-Schaller, Ulrich Mühe or Corinna Harfouch.

In 1909, today's opera house was opened as the "New City Theatre" and lived through comparatively quiet times until the Second World War. In 1945 the theatre lies in ruins. Difficult years of reconstruction begin. The situation only improves in the 1950s. With the new rulers, Chemnitz also gets a new name: Karl-Marx-Stadt. The city bears the name successfully. Karl Marx City is soon regarded as the economic metropolis of the GDR and becomes the Mecca of the theatre.

A great era begins at the theatre in 1969 with artistic director Gerhard Meyer. The theatre captivates with its unconventionality and progressiveness. And the plays on stage in Karl-Marx-Stadt are not always faithful to the line - much to the annoyance of the Stasi. The night before the premiere of such a sensitive play, a fire suddenly breaks out in the theatre. The exact course of events is never fully clarified.

1989 - The GDR is at an end. In the years following the revolution, tens of thousands leave Chemnitz, as the city is soon called again. The new era also leads the people of Chemnitz into the new world. After decades of dominance by the theatre, opera now makes a splash. The performance of Kurt Weill's "The Road to Promise" is celebrated internationally in 2000 - the greatest success in Chemnitz opera history. And the new generation? They are still being supported: In the "Studio Chemnitz" acting students are trained for the great stages of the republic.

First broadcast: Sunday, 14 June 2009, 12:30 p.m., 3Sat.

Theatrescapes: Theatre Chemnitz

The Chemnitz Theatre has experienced many ups and downs in its history: destruction during the Second World War, its rise to become the Mecca of drama in the GDR, a fire in the mid-1970s and great successes in opera history after reunification. However, the five-section house has retained one thing to this day: it has always been regarded as an impressive hotbed of talent.

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